Following the drug related deaths of two young women, ages 18 and 19, at HARD Summer this past weekend, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors took a vote to explore a ban on ‘raves.’ Tuesday, August 4th, the board voted unanimously in favor of the study. To clarify, they are considering all electronic music festivals to be considered under the title of a ‘rave,’ even if that isn’t necessarily what they are called within the community.
Over the years, dance music festivals have seen more than their fair share of drug related deaths, especially in the United States in recent years. Authorities, like LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, believe ‘more measures need to be considered to create a safe environment for all patrons and a zero tolerance [policy] for illicit drugs.’ Zero tolerance may be the desired outcome for these types of events, but it is simply unrealistic in implementation. The best solution, as seen on the Aussie version of 60 Minutes, is repercussion free drug testing at music festivals and ensuring free water to all patrons. Organizations like DanceSafe should be at every festival and show around the world.
Safety precautions and bans will not stop this community from thriving, nor will it do much to prevent the unfortunate occurrences of overdoses and dehydrations and events such as these. Rave, festival, show, whatever. We as a community need to be more accountable for our own actions, and the actions of others. We need to look out for our friends and fellow attendees; stay hydrated, remember safety first, and practice good fellowship to everyone around us.
Electronic Dance Music is certainly earning a poor reputation, no matter where you look. Even Instagram has recently taken to banning the hashtag from its network. Maybe it is time for us as active members in the dance music community to take a stand for this music that we love so much, and not let the stigmas and inappropriate generalizations to define that reputation.
What are your thoughts on the possible ban of “Raves” in the LA area? Holler in the comments below.
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